JEFFERSONVILLE — A major auction is set to take place at the former Jeffboat property this week.
The sale will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday and is expected to stretch into Thursday.
According to Bud Moore of Plant & Machinery, Inc. — the entity handling the auction — over 2,000 lots of items will be auctioned off. Included in the sale will be the remaining manufacturing equipment from Jeffboat that wasn't removed after its sale.
“We have large fabricating equipment," Moore said. "We’ve got a full machine shop here. We have a large amount of welding equipment, cranes and chains for handling steel. It’s a very big mix."
It's not the complete yard, however, with Moore adding that about a third of the equipment was taken after the initial sale. His client is a shell company called Inland Marine Equipment, LLC.
Moore said he expects roughly 100 attendees at Wednesday's public auction, though he said double to triple that number could be bidding online.
"It was much different before the internet," he said. "That’s just the modern way. We do sell live. There will be a traveling auction block with auctioneers. We also sell online concurrently."
Two parking lots that were also owned by Jeffboat are listed for sale as well. Both lots are located on Market Street just north of Jeffboat, with one at the intersection with Main Street and the other with Penn Street.
Ray Neal of Schuler Bauer Commercial said both properties were listed on Aug. 5, with signs going up roughly two weeks later.
An offer has been accepted on Aug. 30 for the lot at the corner of Market and Penn streets. The property at Market and Main streets received an offer Tuesday, though it is still under review.
Neal did not disclose his client, though he said it was not Inland Marine Equipment, LLC.
Jeffboat ceased operation last year after launching its 12,917th vessel. The shipyard had operated in the area for 80 years.
In the months since, city officials have been open about their interest in acquiring and developing the property. The process for doing so, however, could be lengthy.
According to Mayor Mike Moore, such an endeavor is still only a "dream of his." The auction and sale of parking lots, however, is a "positive," Moore said, as it shows signs that the owners may be moving toward a larger transaction with the property.
"Hopefully, we can make this whole dream of mine a reality," Moore said. "A lot of things have to come together, but my fingers are crossed. The City of Jeffersonville could see a significant impact from that property."
The 65-acre property would add "enormous value" to Jeffersonville, Moore said. If the city were able to acquire it, he added that he would hold meetings to gather public input. One thing Moore said the city is attempting to prevent is another industrial business opening on the site.
"I could see the 65 acres becoming another village along the Ohio River," he said. "You could have a mixed-use of some residential growth, some commercial, and even a marina. I would love to see some continuation of the greenway and green space. You can do a lot of stuff with 65 acres, and it takes a vision."